We are invaded every day with eating patterns that a Hollywood celebrity has popularized. They promise everything from lowering our blood pressure to making us lose weight. The truth is very different
Vegan, paleo , carnivorous , ‘ clean ‘, whole30 , approved by Gwyneth Paltrow … There are many diets we face today that promise extraordinary results , which are capable of making us lose a ton of pounds of weight in a matter of days , which boost our immune system , which is supposed to be ‘ how we should eat ‘, since our body has not had time to adapt to the agriculture-based diet in the last 10,000 years , and therefore, what we eat is terrible, despite the fact that life expectancy 10,000 years agoHe was around 25 years old (yes, the Paleolithic diet is a real nonsense , and its defenders try to use banal and flawed justifications, hiding behind vague, illogical and erroneous statistics ).
But, contrary to what these ‘ food messiahs ‘ can promise, there are three popular, healthy diets, suitable for everyone (especially two of them, since the third, although acceptable for everyone, it is designed for only 2% of the population ).
It emerged in 1993 . It was the American response to the biggest health problem the country faced in that decade (and continues to face): cardiovascular disease.
Thanks to a study of the National Institutes of Health of the United States, carried out with 9,000 people , in which the participants consumed diets with different levels of salt, it was discovered that this condiment had a serious relevance in cardiovascular health. As the doctor in pharmacy and nutritionist Amil López Viéitez explains : “It is true that in the United States it is better known, but it is already beginning to be prescribed by many cardiologists and primary care physicians in Europe.”
The key foods in this diet consist of:
- Avoid salt at all costs, which directly excludes fast food and frozen, packaged, or canned foods where the statement ‘ low sodium ‘ does not appear explicitly.
- Fruits and vegetables. Between four and five servings of each are recommended a day because they have practically zero sodium content.
- Dairy (as long as these are low in fat). The clearest examples are milk and yogurt, if they are skimmed (or semi ) better than better.
- Whole grains . Various studies have shown that fiber has a great impact (beneficial, of course) on our cardiovascular health as well as for many other biological processes in our body such as correct gastrointestinal transit.
- Fish, lean meats, and poultry. The last two options refer to the low amount of lipids that these products contain because it is in the fatty areas of the meat where the negative molecules for our circulatory system such as LDL cholesterol (the bad one) hide to a greater extent. In the case of fish, both white (low in fat) and blue (very fatty) are beneficial since the lipids they contain are among the ‘good’.
- Legumes, seeds, and nuts. For exactly the same reason as fish. Legumes are rich in antioxidant molecules that preserve cell health and reduce inflammation in our bodies. On the other hand, nuts have a good intake of beneficial fatty acids and an adequate energy contribution.
- On the other hand, this diet supports the reduction of the consumption of certain products such as red meat, sweets or sugary soft drinks.
That the Spanish are the human beings who live the most (behind the Japanese) is no coincidence. Our food is one of the best on earth. All be said: we have this tradition of eating properly because our fertile, sun-drenched land and our seas are the ideal places to grow or raise everything we put into our mouths.
Our strengths? The fish, everything that comes out of the garden, the wheat, and, above all, the wonderful olive oil. It is true that the Mediterranean diet can vary depending on the areas of the peninsula and customs. For example, it would not occur to anyone to deny a Valencian that his diet is very healthy and 100% Mediterranean despite the fact that the most traditionally consumed cereal is rice.
These are the true strengths of our diet :
- The main foods of the Mediterranean diet , bread, legumes , fish and nuts , were associated with a decrease in the number of aerobic , potentially pathogenic bacteria. These foods are also associated with lower levels of inflammation markers.
- A higher consumption of meat , fast food and refined sugars is linked to a substantial reduction in bacterial functions and an increase in the aforementioned markers of inflammation. These types of foods are absent in this diet.
- The red wine , the vegetables , the fruits and fish are associated with greater health and abundance of beneficial bacteria in our microbiota.
- The vegetable proteins help the synthesis of vitamins and amino acids essential to the same time assist in the breaking of alcohols and ammonia excretion.
- The fats ingested are mostly huge part, extremely beneficial for us , improving our cardiovascular health and reducing the risk we have to suffer heart disease.
The gluten-free diet
It is a necessary mention. It is true that it is an ‘added’ given that any of the aforementioned diets can be adapted and also become diets lacking this vegetable protein, but in itself, it is a type of healthy diet and that for certain people ( celiacs , those intolerant to gluten -not celiac- and those allergic to this protein) is vital. We have to bear in mind that these people, at least in Spain, only represent 2% of the population, although as pointed out by the market analysis company Nielsen, 13% of Spanish citizens avoid it.
It is not proven (nor are there any indications) that excluding gluten from our diet, if we do not have any type of intolerance to this molecule, we report any benefit.